As a leader – what questions do you ask of yourself the night before the ‘Big Game’?

You know last night had to be a long night for both Dean Barker (ETNZ) and James Spithill (Oracle USA) on the eve of what will be the most epic battle in the history of sailing. Sitting in very different places looking at the same objective – they must have been wrestling with very different questions.

Dean Barker ETNZDean Barker – up 8 to 1 a week ago, with just one win between The Cup and his team & country. Now – bearing the mental burden of a staggering losing streak.

James Spithill USAJames Spithill – behind 1 to 8 last week after starting with a 2 point penalty – now riding the wave of one of the greatest come-back stories in all of sport… And they meet this afternoon (pending wind) in the Super Bowl of sailing – winner take all.

The Cup brings opportunities AND burdens that go above and beyond any other sailing competition. In addition to the sailing team and boat – there are hundreds (thousands) of people that have made each of these campaigns possible in these areas:
• Technology design, building & maintenance
• Business organization; sales, marketing, finance, legal etc.
• Fitness; nutrition, exercise, rehab
• Media
• Corporate sponsors & private supporters, not to mention…
• Fans with raging national pride

With all that on their shoulders…
 What are they thinking?
 What questions kept them awake last night?
 What questions did they wake up to this morning?
The questions they ask of themselves will bring clarity of priorities and focus. As stated in the NY Times article ‘Distilling Wisdom of Effective C.E.Os’ April 17, 2011, ‘The greatest contribution a CEO makes to their organization may be asking the right questions.’

As a leader, what questions are you asking of yourself the night before the ‘Big Game’?

AC Stand off

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